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Human hormone system: The Endocrine System – PMC

Endocrine system – Latest research and news

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Endocrine disruptors

Almost 20 years after the Community strategy for endocrine disruptors this issue remains a global challenge and a source of concern for many EU citizens.

Significant progress has been achieved over the past two decades and the EU is today recognised as one of the global leaders in dealing with these chemicals.

Yet, it is important to step up the EU’s efforts.

The Commission remains committed to protecting EU citizens and the environment from endocrine disruptors.

The communication Towards a comprehensive European Union framework on endocrine disruptors outlines the European Commission’s strategic approach to deal with these substances in the future and announces a number of concrete actions to be implemented across policy areas.

The European Commission is also committed to stepping up the implementation of existing policies on endocrine disruptors.

Next Steps

Fitness Check

The European Commission will take a cross-cutting look at the approach to endocrine disruptors’ assessment and management in a broad range of legislation. 

The goal is to analyse the coherence of the different approaches to this topic, identify possible gaps and synergies and assess their collective impact on human health and the environment.

General information on the Fitness check activities can be found in the following documents:

  • Consultation strategy

  • Roadmap of the Commission’s approach to the Fitness Check

The Fitness Check includes two public consultations, notably a public consultation (designed from a citizen’s perspective) and a stakeholder consultation (designed for stakeholders and experts):

  • Public consultation (closing 09/03/2020)
  • Stakeholders consultation (closing 31/01/2020)

A Factual Summary Report of the targeted stakeholder consultation can be found here.

In October 2020 the European Commission published:

  • Staff Working Document on the Fitness Check on endocrine disruptors
  • Executive Summary of the Staff Working Document on the Fitness Check on endocrine disruptors

The European Commission published a chemicals strategy for sustainability on 14 October 2020. It is part of the EU’s zero pollution ambition, which is a key commitment of the European Green Deal.

Annual Forum

The European Commission will organise a forum on endocrine disruptors on an annual basis.

In 2021, the third annual forum was held in the afternoons of 21 and 22 September 2021 (from 14h40 to 18h00).

In 2020, the second annual forum was held on 17-18 December. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event took place virtually via webstream.

The first annual forum was held on 8 November 2019.

  • Programme
  • Video

This forum brought together scientists, policy makers from different EU countries as well as interested parties for an exchange of knowledge, to identify challenges and build cooperation mechanisms.

The first meeting of the forum included:

  • Presentation of the progress made on the Fitness Check and collection of feedback
  • Presentation of projects funded in the framework of Horizon 2020
  • Presentation of ongoing work performed at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) regarding test methods informing about substances with (possible) endocrine disruptor properties
  • A stakeholder discussion on their experience with the current regulatory situation on endocrine disruptors and a discussion on in the inclusion of endocrine disruptors in the international system of classification and labelling of chemicals (GHS).
  • Presentation of the initiatives of some EU countries

Initiatives and activities

Actions by area

  • chemicals strategy, ECHA agency and REACH regulation
  • cosmetics
  • environment
  • pesticides and biocides
  • water quality
  • human biomonitoring initiative
  • medical devices

Support for research

In the past decades, science on endocrine disruption has advanced significantly and progress has been reported in scientific publications by the European Commission and by EU agencies, namely the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)

Advance has also been made in the context of activities co-ordinated by the European Commission. Since 1999, the European Union’s Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development have allowed to fund over 50 relevant projects for an amount of over €150 million from the EU.

These projects have improved our understanding of the endocrine mechanism of action, the identification of adverse effects on human health and wildlife from exposure to endocrine disruptors, and the development of tools for identification of endocrine disruptors and exposure assessment.

The Commission allocated further €50 million under Horizon 2020, allowing the funding of eight projects on new testing methods for endocrine disruptors.

In addition to research funded under Horizon 2020, a special effort was made in recent years to further improve the availability of test guidelines for identification of endocrine disruptors and address the testing weaknesses identified at EU and international level, under the auspices of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

  • EU Research on Endocrine Disruptors

However, knowledge gaps still exist and reliable testing is necessary to identify endocrine disruptors. Therefore, it’s very important to continue supporting the establishment of a thorough research basis for effective policy-making.

Up-to-date scientific evidence

In its future framework programme for research and innovation, Horizon Europe, the Commission will continue to ensure the necessary support to research on protecting citizens and environment from exposure to harmful chemicals, including endocrine disruptors, building on the work under the current framework programme Horizon 2020.

Several proposed research areas across Horizon Europe are very relevant to endocrine disruptors, including:

  • further development of hazard assessment, risk assessment and management of chemicals
  • elimination of substances of concern in the production and end-of-life phases & support to the development of safe substitutes
  • research on eco-innovation to prevent environmental pollution from hazardous substances and chemicals of emerging concern

International Cooperation

The European Commission actively cooperates with several institutions and countries and will step up its support to relevant international organisations, notably to:

  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • World Health Organisation

  • Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)

  • United Nations Environment Programme

  • World Trade Organisation

  • United States, Canada, Japan and recently also China, among others. While having different approaches on how to deal with endocrine disruptors, all partners agree on the importance of addressing the matter as a priority

The European Commission will also explore possibilities for the inclusion of endocrine disruptors in the existing international system for classification of chemicals.

The national authorities of Belgium, Denmark, France, The Netherlands and Sweden have launched on 2 June 2020 the website Endocrine Disruptors Lists*.

*The content of this website is under the sole responsibility of the national authorities managing it and does not necessarily represent a view of the Commission

RAS Corresponding Member Natalya Mokrysheva: Endocrine diseases create a backdrop for all other diseases

Fresh issue



Thematic applications


Fresh number


19.01.2023 18:47


Irina Krasnopolskaya

The conversation with Natalia Mokrysheva, director of the National Center for Endocrinology, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, began with a figure: half of Russians – almost 65 million – have some kind of endocrine disease. These are diseases of the thyroid gland, and the pituitary gland, and the reproductive system, and diabetes … Endocrinology is the entire hormonal system of a person. The same thyroid gland, or simply “thyroid gland”, has long and constantly been on everyone’s lips. The pituitary gland, the most important in our life, can only dream of such attention. But the thyroid gland, which lives somewhere in the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe cervical spine, which is impossible to see … Its two lobes with a total weight of 12-15 grams in an adult, and 2-3 grams in newborns. Back in the century before last, for the first time, the patient’s thyroid gland was removed for the sake of salvation. It turns out you can live without it. You can’t live without a heart, but you can without a thyroid gland. Why has the attention to it, other glands, hormones become more acute? It was considered and is considered: our main enemies are diseases of the heart, blood vessels, oncological diseases.

Natalia Mokrysheva: For each patient, we select a personalized treatment. / Sergey Kuksin / RG

Natalya Georgievna! Once upon a time, I met a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, gynecologist-endocrinologist Irina Alexandrovna Manuilova. I thought we would talk with her about how to give birth, how to take care of pregnancy. And she talked about the importance of hormones, about how important they are, about the dangers of hormonal disorders. The published note was called “Hormones – the source of life.” I confess, it was somehow unusual. There was even some distrust. It, in my opinion, is not gone now. Often, the appointment of hormonal drugs scares. In the labeling of not only medicines, but also products, they sometimes write about the presence of certain hormones in them. In our everyday life – “hormonal background”, “hormones play”, “hormonal breakdown”. Has grown thin sharply – hormones are guilty. Excess weight – oh, those hormones. Hair falls out – again hormones are to blame. Only insulin (and it is the most pancreatic hormone) is beyond condemnation. For the simple reason that without it there is no life for those suffering from diabetes. Do hormones rule us? Are they the source of life?

Natalia Mokrysheva: Absolutely.

Therefore, Natalya Georgievna, you, who was born in a family of doctors, chose endocrinology?

Natalia Mokrysheva: I am convinced that endocrine diseases create a background for all other diseases. The normal functioning of the endocrine system is a condition for a person to be healthy. Yes, you can’t live without a heart, but you can live without a thyroid gland. But under an indispensable condition: constant replenishment from the outside of it, the thyroid gland, hormones. Good work of the thyroid gland is necessary during pregnancy, that is, at the stage of laying all the systems and organs of the fetus. The formation of the brain, most importantly, is entirely under the control of thyroid hormones. But at an older age, its activity, like many endocrine glands, slowly decreases. Decreased production of hormones.

Endocrinology is the entire human hormonal system

And, unfortunately, there are areas endemic for iodine deficiency.

Natalya Mokrysheva: Yes, this is a big problem for Russia. But we hope that a law will be adopted to eliminate iodine deficiency, as in most developed countries. Let’s remember about congenital hypothyroidism, which we defeated, in fact, in Russia. Introduced screening for congenital hypothyroidism at birth of each infant. A drop of blood is taken from his heel. And in the form of a dry spot is transferred to the laboratory. If a deficiency of thyroid hormones is detected, they immediately begin to compensate for it. This prevents the development of severe complications.

And if in vitro fertilization (IVF) is performed, are these nuances taken into account?

Natalya Mokrysheva: We have a specialized department of in vitro fertilization at the National Medical Research Center of Endocrinology, one of the best in terms of its effectiveness. Patients come to us with infertility caused by various reasons. Including endocrine disorders. This may be overweight or its deficiency, pituitary tumors or some kind of hereditary endocrine diseases, etc. Each applicant is first screened by an endocrinologist. And often infertility is overcome without IVF. And if there is no way out, then they are transferred for IVF. As a neuroendocrinologist, I manage dozens of families with an initial diagnosis of infertility. Neuroendocrinology studies the work of all endocrine glands, and above all, the main one – the pituitary gland. She is just the commander, regulates the work of everything else. So the other day I had my patient, whom I began to treat almost 30 years ago, when I wrote my PhD on pituitary tumors. These tumors are different. So then a 14-year-old girl came to me. And we began to solve her problems with reproductive health. Previously, they would have told her: “Well, that’s it, you will not have children.” And we corrected everything with her, and she gave birth to three wonderful children. There are special preparations that are taken twice a week. With their help, we block the production of excess prolactin, and the body works normally. For each patient, we select a personalized treatment. After all, genetic disorders often lead to the development of unique endocrine diseases. Sometimes we determine the situation and know that the child has a high risk of developing cancer, for example, of the thyroid gland. Sometimes you even have to preventively remove the gland.

You clean up and the person is on hormones all his life? Is the quality of life normal?

Natalya Mokrysheva: With the right treatment, this is a happy and healthy life. By identifying a mutation in a particular gene, we can diagnose and observe a person. At the slightest first sign of illness, provide the right assistance. Because we know what he wants. Then he does not develop complications. And he lives well. Either on hormones or without hormones, depending on the situation.

Will conception, the birth of children shine for such people?

Natalya Mokrysheva: For the most part, yes. Moreover, in order not to inherit a mutation in some gene, there is a variant of pre-implantation diagnosis. Simply healthy genetic material is selected and a healthy baby is born. In the primary care, at the level of the FAP, the polyclinic needs screenings for major endocrine diseases.

Why are they so afraid of hormones?

Natalia Mokrysheva: I think the stereotype of early hormone use and the various side effects associated with it are partly to blame. Previously, they were used in large doses. Basically, we are talking about female sex hormones: menopause treatment or replacement therapy. In addition to these hormones, there are a huge number of others: the thyroid gland, for example. Now, if a person has little thyroid hormones and if he does not take hormones, he will become fat, swollen. His heart rhythm will be disturbed, he will be lethargic, weak, asthenic. Give him a hormone and his symptoms will go away. He will be alive and well and feel great. Lots of hormones. And they keep opening. A new hormone has recently been discovered. He doesn’t have a name yet. It is not yet known how he manifests himself.

We live in a very difficult time. Sometimes there is a wave of stress. Can hormones help? Since they are the source of life?

Natalya Mokrysheva: Hormone deficiency can lead to depression and poor health. And this condition must be treated with hormones. But if a person does not have a hormonal imbalance, and he has depression, he must be treated by other means.

How often should I check my endocrine system?

Natalia Mokrysheva: Once a year. It is desirable at the endocrinologist. Unfortunately, there is indeed a problem with the availability of endocrinologists. The shortage of adult endocrinologists is more than 20%, and for children – even more. Ideally, every year each person should pass, I believe, at least four endocrine indicators. Which? First: check your blood sugar. Second: calcium. If the indicators are higher or lower than normal, then the patient is immediately sent to the endocrinologist, a wider examination is done. If there is not enough calcium and vitamin D in the body, then the risk of osteoporosis is high. A person can stumble, fall, get a fracture. We did research a few years ago: up to 12% of the population can be deficient in calcium. Low calcium is not only a problem for bones. This is bad for blood vessels, kidneys. Excess calcium predisposes to the development of kidney stones, kidney failure and even arterial hypertension. It is necessary to check the level of thyroid hormones every year. If there are a lot of hormones, this may be the reason that you are losing weight, nervous, and feeling unwell. And if these hormones are low, then edema may occur, you gain weight. You are lethargic, sleepy.

Hormone deficiency can lead to depression and poor health

Do people with a sweet tooth often have higher blood sugar? Or is it still a myth?

Natalya Mokrysheva: This is a myth. Do you know why? How did doctors define diabetes in the past? Urine tasted. She is sweet. It is a fact. Why sweet? The simplest explanation – ate a lot of sweets. And the truth is that a person has impaired glucose metabolism or sensitivity to their own insulin. I won’t bore you with the details. Let me just remind you: diabetes is different. Two types. One develops at a young age, in childhood. Must be here at 98% of cases need insulin, because. the pancreas stops producing it. The second type of diabetes develops at an older age, it happens more often. It is about this diabetes that they say that a person eats a lot of sweets. Why? Because more often it develops in people with obesity, overweight. And here, diet, restriction of sugar, carbohydrate foods, creating a balance between consumption and expenditure can prevent its development. Go without insulin.

Speaking of insulin. Domestic meets all requirements? We do not depend on its supplies?

Natalia Mokrysheva: Almost independent. Domestic meets all modern requirements.

Can a person who “sits” on insulin have healthy children?

Natalya Mokrysheva: Of course. You just need to find the right therapy. Previously, such women were told: you cannot have children. And they lost kids. Now they are wearing a pump that delivers insulin as needed and creates a background against which there is no threat of miscarriage. We have a department of endocrinopathy and pregnancy at our center. Everyone can contact us with any endocrine diseases in order to plan together with the doctor how to prepare for pregnancy. Practice shows that an endocrinological center is obligatory in every region. It can be based on a multidisciplinary hospital. After all, the flow of patients with endocrine diseases is huge. They are not getting smaller. Against. Much depends on regional programs and regional leaders.

Cancer alertness is becoming a norm, a practice. Obviously, endocrinological vigilance is also necessary.

Natalya Mokrysheva: Of course. Moreover, oncological diseases are more likely to develop in patients with endocrine disorders. In patients with diabetes, the risk of developing cancer, as well as cardiovascular diseases, is much higher than the average in the population. Patients who have an underactive thyroid gland, iodine deficiency, the risk of developing thyroid cancer is also many times greater. Therefore, a separate unit appeared in our center: oncoendocrinology. To understand, to know the nature of the development of the disease, you need to know what is happening in the body. And, in my opinion, it is endocrinology that provides answers to such questions.

Get to the bottom of it. It requires such meticulousness. ..

Natalya Mokrysheva: She’s a sin. Although it brings a lot of inconvenience. Is this a good trait? Good, but in moderation.

Your doctoral thesis was on the parathyroid glands, which regulate mineral metabolism. Not only is the thyroid gland itself not visible to anyone, but the parathyroid glands also sit behind it. Can’t they be seen at all?

Natalia Mokrysheva: When they are healthy, it is difficult to see them even on ultrasound. How do we work with them? According to blood counts, according to the condition of the bones. But apart from our classic endocrine glands, we are now learning more and more about non-classical ones. There is, for example, such a “non-classical endocrine gland” – this is adipose tissue. Obesity is essentially a hormonal disease. Adipose tissue also produces hormones: leptin and others. Based on them, drugs are already being developed. That is, it is not necessary to say that the endocrine system is only those glands to which we are accustomed. Bone tissue also produces hormones. The entire life system is tied to hormones. We learn to recognize and manage them. We are learning more and more about them.

So they always existed, we just didn’t know about them?

Natalya Mokrysheva: Of course! And now we began to understand the process. That’s the same obesity. Its prevalence is growing as a result of our urbanization. We have a lot of achievements that make life easier. We can go quietly and eat a burger. The development of civilization leads to the fact that new diseases are born. The number of patients with endocrine diseases is increasing. Especially in the last ten years. 5 million Russians suffer from diabetes. These are only registered. Twice as many. who are sick and don’t know about it. Why so much? These are our stresses, the same infections.

Infographics “RG” / Leonid Kuleshov / Natalia Yachmennikova

Key question

You, Natalia Georgievna, initiated a health marathon on obesity. The Obesity Center was opened.

Natalya Mokrysheva: We have connected all regions, various specialists, doctors, patients, cooks, representatives of different religious denominations, trainers in fitness clubs and those who lead a healthy lifestyle. The main thing for everyone to understand is that the balance between what you eat and how active you are physically is important.

Do you personally follow these rules? What do you eat for breakfast, for example?

Natalya Mokrysheva: Hercules. I fill it with boiling water, without milk. I don’t cook. No sugar, no salt. Some berries and nuts. I try to have some vegetable soup for lunch. And, if it turns out, some kind of vegetable snack at 17-18 hours. And if not, then in the evening (I come late) some piece of turkey, for example. I have to limit myself. I have a predisposition. But I don’t like sweets. Although sometimes you want chocolate. But the main thing is to find an opportunity to move. This is what we all lack.

You have been the head of the country’s main endocrinology center for three years. Is the director of such a center a woman’s business?

Natalya Mokrysheva: I think so. The main thing is organization and dedication.

Aren’t you afraid that in the age of digitalization the doctor’s word may disappear?

Natalya Mokrysheva: It’s really dangerous! Therefore, doctors should deal with digitalization, and not just IT and healthcare organizers. So that the doctor does not lose the patient as such, contact with him. Digitalization should be to help doctors and patients, not instead.

Do you like your job?

Natalia Mokrysheva: Very.

Rossiyskaya gazeta – Federal issue: No. 12(8957)


The hormonal background is a set of hormones existing in the human body, the number and ratio of which can change under the influence of external and internal environmental factors. We also recall that biologically active substances are called hormones, the production of which is carried out by the endocrine glands and partially by organs related to the human endocrine system.

Hormonal background – what is it

The hormonal background, that is, the level of hormones, has a decisive effect on the work of the entire human body, since hormones are involved in all vital processes. The hormonal system and the hormonal background of a person are quite closely connected with the activity of his nervous system.

From a chemical point of view, hormones are proteins, amino acid derivatives, steroids, peptides.

Factors of the internal environment that can cause hormonal imbalance are mainly age-related changes, emotional upheavals, some anomalies in the development of the body and illness. From the outside, such an impact can be produced by ecology, radiation, adverse climatic conditions.

Hormonal imbalance

It is traditionally believed that the age-related restructuring of the human body over the age of 25 and up to 45 years can cause a hormonal imbalance, and in order for the body to remain healthy, it is necessary to provide oneself with properly organized nutrition with a sufficient content of trace elements and vitamins.

Changes in the hormonal background are manifested, in particular, with the change of seasons: in winter, the processes in the body slow down somewhat, and with the advent of spring, activity and the need for energy increase (a hormonal explosion occurs during this period of the year). To a greater extent, such a violation of the hormonal background affects women, although their state of the hormonal system is already unstable.
The main glands – suppliers of hormones, on which the hormonal background primarily depends, are the pituitary gland and the thyroid gland, although in general there are many similar glands. Hormones are directly associated with proteins and are characterized by high biological activity. They are formed in the body in a negligible amount, on the order of tenths of a gram, and act on the body through the blood.

How to restore the hormonal background in a woman

The hormonal background has its effect on the body depending on many conditions: the timeliness and sufficiency of the intake of all vital vitamins, the optimally required concentration of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iodine and other trace elements.

That is why proper and balanced nutrition is so important and necessary in order to ensure the normal functioning of the body and, if possible, prevent hormonal imbalance. After all, some amino acids are not synthesized by our body, their deficiency is replenished only due to the presence in the food that we include in our diet. An indirect method of normalizing the hormonal background can be considered means for breast enlargement based on phytoestrogens.

How to understand that a hormonal failure has occurred in a woman’s body

Endocrine functions in our body are performed by several organs: the thyroid gland, pancreas, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, thymus (thymus) gland and pineal gland, each of which produces various hormones, which determines the overall hormonal background of the human body.

The concentration of certain types of hormones determines both the well-being of a person and the general physical and mental state of his body.

Failure of the hormonal background can be expressed in a decrease in the content of individual hormones or their complex in the blood, which provokes various types of diseases, including severe ones.

In addition, lack of hormones leads to:

  • insomnia,
  • mood swings,
  • skin and hair problems,
  • as well as a general deterioration in the appearance of a person.

How to balance hormones

To maintain a normal hormonal background, it is necessary to include immunostimulating foods in the diet. First of all, it is fish, the benefits of which are determined by the content of polyunsaturated fatty acids in it, as well as selenium.

Allow to maintain in a normal state the hormonal background of a person eaten cereals containing vitamins of group B.

The use of cereals allows you to stimulate metabolic processes in the body and ensure the normal functioning of the nervous system (both central and peripheral), stabilize the balance of thyroid hormones and the reproductive system.